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The National Center for Marine Algae and Microbiota (NCMA) is an invaluable resource for the algae community around the globe. As a leading distributor of marine microalgae for science and industry, the NCMA has sold its cultures to more than 2,800 customers in 58 countries. But we have developed into much more than a biological repository. We are continually expanding our service capabilities and are currently working with biotech companies worldwide on a wide range of projects. The projects include collaborating with Bigelow Analytical Services, another Bigelow Laboratory fee-for-service facility, to screen the algal collection for a strain that most efficiently produces the compound desired for a specific end product. We have access to the Bigelow Seawater Suite and our research greenhouse to optimize growth conditions, generate a better understanding of the pilot scale financial model and mass-produce that strain. When a desired culture is selected for a specific activity we will hold it in a Private Collection to ensure a clean back up is always available. The private Collection service offered by NCMA is a useful tool for companies developing a risk management plan. As algal related products approach commercialization, the NCMA offers several options for licensing agreements (see below). At this point in the commercialization process Private Collection cultures can transfer to patent deposits for the patent application process, as NCMA is also a WIPO Patent Deposit Authority. 

Licensing options. NCMA provides three licensing options for algal strains; please reach out to us for detailed license agreements and with any questions. 

Exclusive License – strain(s) cannot be sold to or licensed by any other entity.  

Semi-Exclusive License – strain(s) cannot be sold to or licensed by any other commercial entity but can be sold to academic parties. 

Non-Exclusive License – strain(s) can be sold to or licensed by any other entity.  

Note: For Exclusive and semi-exclusive license agreements, the sale of licensed strain(s) will be restricted upon execution of the agreement. A notification of change in commercialization status will be sent to customers who had purchased the same strain within a time period of 3 years prior to the license agreement.


Please email ncma@bigelow.org for more information.